Are you a Veteran with Hearing Loss or Tinnitus Caused by Defective Earplugs?
Dating back to the year 2003, medical device manufacturer 3M Company was paid millions of dollars by the U.S. military to provide high-tech earplugs called the Combat Arms™ Earplugs Version 2 (CAEv2). The devices were designed to protect servicemen and women from hearing loss caused by proximity to explosions and damaging noise levels.
Despite this investment, more than 2.6 million veterans that have served in recent years produce been diagnosed with hearing loss and tinnitus, and as a result, are receiving disability compensation. Now the earplug maker has acknowledged that the plugs are defective and have agreed to pay the government $9.1 million.
News of the Combat Arms settlement has raised serious questions about 3M's legal liability for the damages suffered by soldiers deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq between 2003 and 2015. Rather than the manufacturer coming forward to acknowledge a problem with their now-discontinued product, the issue was only called to the attention of the military when a whistleblower lawsuit was filed by 3M's competitor, Moldex-Metric, which reported that the dual-ended design boasted by 3M did not work. Not only did it fail to provide protection, but the service men and women's reliance on the product likely led to significant problems for millions of veterans.